Dawn Holgate - Course Leader

Dawn trained as a professional dancer at London Contemporary Dance School and spent much of her professional career as a dancer with Phoenix Dance Theatre before becoming the company’s first Education Manager. She is an avid community dance practitioner in Leeds and across the East Riding of Yorkshire, where she currently coordinates 11 youth dance groups and is the Artistic Director of the East Riding Youth Dance County Company. Dawn’s research interest lies primarily in choreography and facilitating the choreographic process with cross sector collaborations. She is currently studying for her Masters Degree in Choreography with Leeds Beckett University and her interests lie in themes associated with cultural and personal identity and community dance.

Samantha Rutter - Lecturer

Samantha is an Urban Dance Specialist at Leeds City College. She is artistic director for an urban dance crew called Explosive. Her choreography credits include Move It Main Stage, Breakin’ Convention 2017, Leeds 50th Carnival, Street Fest and AOC Awards Ceremony. Samantha’s research interests are in ‘how the current reduction of dance provision in schools has affected the progression of BAME children within dance education and the cultural enrichment of dance.

Caroline Reese - Lecturer

Caroline undertook professional dance training with the Royal Ballet School as a Senior Associate, followed by the Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD), graduating in 1998 with a BPA (Dance) Degree. As a performer, Caroline has worked professionally within the contemporary, ballet, jazz dance and physical theatre genres, with many leading British and European companies and choreographers.

Nii Kwarty Owoo - Tutor

Originally from Accra, Ghana, Nii is a traditionally trained choreographer in contemporary West African dance and music and currently an African Dance Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Diverse Dance Course at Irie! Dance Theatre, London, accredited by the University of Roehampton. Nii is also a Navigate artist with ACE dance and music, Birmingham, through the Black Choreographic Project. Nii’s work is inspired by traditional cultural practices found in West Africa and diaspora communities. His choreography is strongly influenced by his Ghanaian heritage, including spiritual beliefs, storytelling and symbolism, Nii also seeks to engage with everyday life and contemporary issues in society.

Pareesha Valentina Webster - Tutor

Pareesha is a Professional Dancer and Teacher who specialises in a variety of cultural dance styles like Dancehall and African Dance. She has developed a wealth of skills and knowledge training with RJC Dance Company and Phoenix Dance youth academy from a young age, before completing her training with Manchester Met’s Dance Squad and King Kompany, Leeds. With a background in Street Dance, Urban, Dancehall, Afrobeats and Contemporary, Pareesha now runs her own dance company called Vybz Dance, where she shares her teaching and supports the growth of the next generation. Her research interests are in sharing the world of cultural dance, rhythm, music, movement, expression and most important personality, with all generations. Recently, she is passionate about focusing on projects that enable people to overcome mental health pressure and promote wellbeing through the art of dance, whilst discovering the identities we show to the world. With this she aims to bring different communities together to focus on a variety of choreographic movements and expression.

Shahmbik Ghose - Tutor